Chase the Yes

Can I be honest with you guys for a minute? Like real honest? Sometimes I feel guilty that our adoption was so easy. I know adoption is hard as a general concept. It is. It’s hard for a lot of reasons, and those challenges extend into the life of being an adoptive family day in and day out, and those are challenges that we expect to continue now through the life of our family. But I’m talking about our actual bringing-baby-home-story. It was without hiccup. It was freakishly smooth.

For those who are familiar with our story, you’ll know that everything before our adoption was the opposite of smooth. It was infant loss and more infant loss, back to back, all within a few years, and all within the first few years of our marriage. It was devastating ultrasounds and appointments full of weeping. It was panic attacks and depression. It was too much pain. Pain that we are still working through day after day as we reestablish our foundation as a family. I sometimes think back to my young 23-year-old self, pregnant and excited to grow our family biologically, and I can barely recognize the memories.

But, goodness, since entering the world of adoption, I know there are so very many stories of families struggling to get pregnant, struggling with loss, struggling with heartache like we did, only to enter the world of adoption with a big YES to then get hit in the face with no after no after no after no. There are many of you who have fought hard to put your “yes” on the table and are now wondering if you should ever have said yes in the first place because nothing is working out the way you thought it should. From failed adoptions to never-ending birth family presentations, to getting your hopes up time and time again only to have them crushed.

I’m here to sympathize with you, while at the same time not knowing how to help. I’m here for you the way my pregnant friends were there for me through my pregnancies…with a lot of hugs but not necessarily any answers and maybe a little bit of guilt because I just want to fix it. I want to hand you an adoption story that is as good and beautiful as it can be. One of the scariest parts of adoption is the complete and utter lack of control. Outside of filling out your paperwork correctly, you’re pretty much not in control of a n y t h i n g.

I’m here to say that we are all capable to endure through so much more than we think we are, but it’s okay to be upset sometimes. It’s okay to feel that envy (dare I say anger) you feel when you get another notification on your phone about a match. But please, if there is one thing I’m asking you to do, it is to not take this hard road as a sign that you chose wrong. The messiness of adoption is a reality that is often not conveyed as well as it should be. But we are here for you and we are rooting for you to cross the finish line, whether that finish line is placement, reunification, finalization, or just to love your adopted children well. The entire reason this little community exists is to make one thing clear: we are better together and this is all too hard to go at alone.

If you’re sad today, it’s okay. If you’re angry, that’s okay, too. If you’re one bad phone call away from throwing in the towel, we hear you. Tell us about it. But don’t for a second believe the lie that your “yes” won’t be worth it after all this pain you’re enduring. Don’t believe the lie that everyone else deserves a successful adoption story and you don’t. You want to know something about my little family? We’re as imperfect as imperfect can get. Come over to my house on any given Tuesday and you’ll see for yourself. It’s human nature to begin to doubt everything we ever thought about parenthood and growing a family of our own when it seems like one big fat no after another. Fight that lie and put your yes back in the forefront of your mind. Come hell or high water, remind yourself that it’s not over. Because as long as I’m standing, no “no” will ever be the boss of me and I won’t let it be the boss of you either. Okay? Okay. Chase the yes.

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